As the 54th National Legislature convenes this year, which is its second session, public expectations are once again high, with some asking, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Liberia’s Legislature has long come under strong criticism for being conceited and lukewarm but it is left to be seen if anything much will come out of the “Talking Shop” this year. Even before the lawmakers took their seats for the 2nd session, the President of the Senate, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, is putting them on notice, asking them to be very careful with choices and decisions they make as they dispense their legislative functions during the year. The Analyst reports.
Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, however acknowledging the gains made in the previous year, 2018, has called on members of the National Legislature to carefully beware of any action or inaction they undertake in the New Year.
Speaking at the opening of the second session of the 54th Legislature, the Liberian Vice President said, “For let each be truly aware that every action or inaction on our part affects the peace, stability, unity, progress, development and future of our people and our beloved Mama Liberia”.
She said like the analogy given in the folk story where a son asked his Father the fate of a bird in his hands, “each of our actions will determine whether our Nation will survive and prosper or perish.”
“I entreat you to always bear in mind that the everyday choices we make during this Session, though singular in intent, when taken, affects the whole,” Vice President Taylor intoned.
“As such we must be prepared to take full responsibility for decisions taken and the attendant consequences on the wellbeing of our people and state of our Nation. for as the first branch of government, we can blame no one, but ourselves.”
She said though the Constitution of Liberia does not stipulate penalties for the breach of Article 31 on the duties and functions of the Legislature, “I believe, that the Framers felt in their minds that the passion which ignites the soul and propels it to aim for greater service would naturally make those privileged to serve, perform conscientiously this binding responsibility, thus living up to the spirit and intent of those words.”
She declared her solemn prayer that the commitment to which “we have individually subscribed, will attend all of our actions during this period.”
The Vice President further noted: “As we bear the trust of our people, I am repeatedly reminded of the period attending the 2017 Elections and the subsequent overwhelming mandate from the People of Liberia which catapulted each of us to National Leadership. Let us be reminded of the sweat, tears and blood of many others, on whose shoulders we now stand to superintendent our Country to nobler heights. Their sacrifices are note worthy, and should serve as a constant reminder to work for the common good and subjugate our parochial interests.”
“History reminds us, that on January 22nd, 2018, that His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah was sworn into Office as the nation’s 24th President and I, because of the singular choice of the Standard Bearer of the Coalition of Democratic Change, for which I remain eternally grateful, became the First Female Vice President of the Republic and also the first female President of the Liberian Senate,” VP Taylor asserted.
She added: “Such historic placement devolves upon me onerous responsibilities which I, in all humility and optimism, assumed in consideration of the uncommon opportunity given me to be one of the many building blocks of our nation.”
She thanked President Weah for steering the affairs of the nation over the past year and also thanked him for remaining sensitive and responsive to the socio economic needs of our People.
VP Taylor also acknowledged “with satisfaction” the significant progress recorded in the first year of our administration. He named road connectivity, health care delivery, education and electricity amongst other achievements.
These milestone achievements, she said, serve as a beacon of hope, signifying the commitment and determination of our Government to improving the living standards of our people.
“We should also note, that there were some challenges attending our first year; with concerns being expressed in some quarters of our society about alleged missing funds; claims and counter claims of corruption and bribery; Bank Liquidity, perceptions of disrespect and mistrust amongst functionaries of government; and issues of the alarming rate of sexual and gender based violence in our nation,” she said further.
She called her government officials to ascertain that the effects of their work will ensure the betterment of all within and without our borders, adding that this will “elicit greater cooperation and collaboration amongst us; keeping in mind that we are part and parcel of one unit; hence we all rise or fall together.”
“And so, as we reconvene in the serene ambiance of the Senate Chambers to proceed with the work assigned us, let us beseech the mercy of our Lord and Savior and seek his divine wisdom which will allow us serve our nation to the best that is within us,” the Vice President admonished the lawmakers.
She indicated that in performing “our mandate to do all within our powers to build a more equitable, profitable, and wholesome functioning society; where the majority of our population will be able to access the opportunities necessary to create a world of their own dreams.”